When Baby Was Born
by Jodi OíDonnell
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #339,$4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-24339-1
***
Cade McGivern is having a very bad day. A wicked snowstorm is sweeping down onto his Texas ranch and he has just found a woman in his bed. He has no idea who she is but he discovers she is pregnant. Then he discovers she is in labor. And THEN he discovers she has lost her memory.

The heroine isnít having a good day either, of course. She has no purse but a note in her pocket that had the name Sara and Cadeís address leads her to Cadeís home. She does give birth to a boy with Cadeís stunned help, but realizes her hope that Cade would know her is unfounded. He searches and comes up with a letter from his estranged brother that says he is now married to someone named Sara and she is pregnant. Cade figures he has now identified his mystery woman - the woman he is becoming very attracted to and protective of - and she is his sister-in-law.

Cade is terrified he is about to step into a similar situation to the one that led to his quarrel with his brother, Loren, years ago. Lorenís then-fiancťe had tried to seduce Cade and Loren found them together. To make matters worse, Sara insists that she doesnít think she ever felt love toward anyone named Loren, although she isnít sure.

Cade is an honorable man who wants to do the right thing by his brother and his brotherís family, but he keeps getting hit by his urge to claim this mystery woman and her child as his. The two of them try to untangle the mess of emotions Saraís arrival has caused.

Of the two, Cade is the more interesting character since he has to do many difficult things in the process of this romance - including swallow his desire to protect Sara from her painful memories. He knows he has to stop aiding her from avoiding her past. Actually Cade is almost too noble a character. But that works - since to balance that he thinks he is lusting after his brotherís wife.

Sara is more passive, which makes sense since she is the one with the amnesia she isnít anxious to recover from, but she isnít a complete victim. She is willing to fight to keep Cade even when both of them arenít entirely sure what is happening. Overall I wasnít crazy about Sara, but drawing an amnesia victim as a complete character is pretty difficult.

Without giving more away I can say the plot is pretty complicated and perhaps not totally believable, but lots of the surprises were surprises for me. The resolution of Saraís amnesia was fairly satisfying although I thought it took a tremendously long time (gee, almost the whole book) to arrive when logically it should have been cleared up much faster. However, I was pleased that having her regain her memory didnít mean everything automatically became right again. Once Sara knows who she is she still has to make sure Cade likes the complete woman. That isnít as easy as it sounds.

--Irene Williams


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